Plastic flower pots branded ‘waste of cash’

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An attempt to ‘brighten up’ street works in Ballymena by placing tubs of plastic flowers on barriers has been branded a waste of money by the Deputy Mayor.

TUV Councillor Timothy Gaston said he questioned whether the placement of the flower tubs was the ‘best use of public funds’.

He also urged the contractors in charge of the project to remove recently applied water covers which feature the Irish language.

He said: “I hope this is an oversight and I encourage the contractor to get these changed as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for Mid & East Antrim Council said: “The Public Realm currently is still due to be completed by the end of this year as scheduled - December 2016. The flowers were part of the tender to soften the site and were left to the contractor to furnish. These are the first to be displayed.”

Last year, it was revealed that some of the footpath works could not be completed because specially made kerbs to cope with rain gullies had not yet arrived.

An inspection of a number of footpaths in the town centre at the weekend revealed that these final - but vital - touches had only recently been applied.

The overall cost of the scheme is in the region of £4 million. The cost of the plastic flowers and their tubs which are mounted on wooden brackets is not known.